Chumly the Cat

Note: I’m using this story as an exercise. It will be continually revised for some time.

The human mind is an island of entropy in an ocean of ignorance.
– The Mentalist Creed: 1723

As Jen’s rotting corpse filled the bedroom with a noxious odor, she was busy in the kitchen cooking a scrumptious chicken noodle soup for dinner. This is the story of the not-so-recently deceased Ms. Deveroux, and her cat, Chumly.

Donna’s aging Volvo pulls into an empty parking lot. On the horizon the sun is momentarily resting after breaking through a veil of darkness. The keys in her hand jingle against a coffee mug while she punches numbers into the office security system. Lights flicker to life, shutters open, and the day’s first pot of coffee begins brewing.

Nervous fingernails tap on a formica counter as she glances at her watch. “Damn it,” Donna mutters under her breath. “If I knew she wasn’t going to show up I could have slept in.” She takes another drink of coffee, hoping the bitter caffeine will compensate for lack of sleep.

He carefully washes her blood off his hands and forearms, scrubbing all the nooks and crannies until his flesh screams at him to stop. The water in the basin looks like a melted pink rose, silently swirling into the drain’s welcoming darkness. The taste of nickel lingers, resulting in a sheepish grin, like a crooked cop at a shooting. In the hallway a black cat slowly licks a front paw, never taking his eyes of the man in black. The gems on the cat’s collar glow softly in the dark. “It’s for the best,” thinks the cat, “and now it’s time to get rid you, too.” At that moment the doorbell and phone begin ringing.

The sounds cause him to stop what he was doing. He turns off the water, silently dries himself, and leaves the apartment without bothering to close the front door. The sun has left the horizon and begins slowly ascending through a cornflower blue sky. The rush hour traffic is heavy at this time of the morning.

Jess is trying to maintain his bus schedule, and punches the accelerator when he sees the traffic light turning to amber. He’s already 10 minutes late, and the grumbling from the riders has become a white noise of angry bees buzzing around a nest of impatience. Some bees are louder than others. “I can’t be late again,” bemoans an anonymous rider. Beads of sweat begin forming on Jess’s brow.

He didn’t see the man in black walk out in front of his bus until it was too late; the screams of the passengers, the man in black’s calm demeanor 10 feet in front of a speeding bus, the squeal of brakes and smell of burning rubber, the eyes of the man in black not closing until his head explodes against the bus in a crimson halo.

>>>>>>>> (20 August 2014 edits) <<<<<<<<

At that moment the office bell rang out, letting her know that someone had opened the front door, which led into the waiting room. Donna tapped out her cigarette, walked through the office, and entered the waiting room with a formal, “Hello, may I help you”?

There was nobody there. Donna looked around to be sure, but the only thing she noticed was the time on the waiting room clock. It was 8:41. She opened the front door thinking that someone might have left a package or a delivery note, and stared at the “Welcome” mat on the door landing. There were no packages or notes on the door or landing. She was alone.

She walked back towards the patio. As she crossed through the examination room she noticed movement out of the corner of her eye. Along one of the walls was a large floor to ceiling mirror and for a moment Donna thought she saw her friend, Ms. Deveroux, sitting down the examination table.
Donna glanced at the table. Empty. “Ok,” she thought to herself, “get a grip, Donna, get – a – grip….” She walked out to the patio, and lit another cigarette. She didn’t seem to notice her trembling hands.

:::::
12 Hours Earlier

Ms. Deveroux was in the kitchen making chicken noodle soup for dinner. She’d been feeling ill the past few days, but had recently awoken feeling quite refreshed. Her fever had broken; the antibiotics had done their magic. She reminded herself to call her friend, Edith, after dinner to let her know she wouldn’t be able to mall walk in the morning. Ms. Deveroux wanted to sleep in, and see how she felt after her physical therapy appointment tomorrow morning before she committed to any more back into her. Then again, she figured Edith would likely stop by anyway just to see how she was doing. Ms. Deveroux’s cat, Chumly, happily chattered to her while rubbing both of her ankles in a never-ending figure eight, also known as an infinity symbol.

“Chumly sure is happy to see me,” She thought to herself, absent-mindedly reaching down to scratch her beloved behind one of his ears. He reciprocated by leaning slightly into her fingers, letting the nails scratch itches he couldn’t quite reach himself, well not without some effort, which went against the kitty cat code of ethics. Little did she realize that Chumly wasn’t merely talking to her, which of course he was, for that’s what cats do, but he was actually in the middle of a sacred feline ritual.

Between magical meowings Chumly was chiding his human caretaker, “I told you not to wear that windbreaker last week. You needed something warmer, you hairless ape. Now look at you. You’re dead, and I have to fix this mess if I want a nice dinner. Oh, the things I do for you. Have you cleaned my litter box yet? I doubt it. You never think of me. Yet here we are on another journey, and, as usual, you don’t even know what’s going on. Oh, why do I bother? ”

If one were to look into the kitchen they would have sworn that Chumly was conversing with a ghost, which cats do rather well I must admit. However, this Ms. Deveroux was in the kitchen making dinner, but there was one little problem, she was a ghost, and her physical body was still in bed.  In the corner of the kitchen a white light began to glow, and then slowly begin spinning in a clockwise rotation. As it did so it grew larger and larger, eventually becoming a large tunnel of soft white light. Violins could be heard emanating from somewhere deep inside the tunnel. Ms. Deveroux was at a crossroads. She could move on if she wanted to, and once she realized that she was dead, but Chumly wasn’t interested in being an orphan, and would have none of it. Chumly knew he had to work fast if he wanted a nice dinner this evening.

His meowings became louder, and his ankle rubbing more fervent. The gems on his collar began to glow. Slowly the music faded away. At the same time Ms. Deveroux’s spiritual being – the one that was currently making dinner in the kitchen –became a solid being. Blood began to flow through empty veins, flesh became warm, and all the while Ms. Deveroux continued making soup, oblivious to everything. The tunnel of light began shrinking, and a few moments later it was nothing more than a bright speck of light in the corner of the room. Then, it winked out. The corpse in her bed faded away. The blankets covering the body slowly drifted downwards until they were peacefully resting on the bed again. The smells of chicken noodle soup filled the kitchen, and it smelled delicious. Chumly’s stomach growled.

Chumly was looking forward to a good meal, and nothing beats chicken noodle soup. In another room, in another place the dead Ms Deveroux remained, along with a hint of chicken noodle soup that hovered in the air for a few minutes before fading away. That Brock never saw Chumly again.
The next morning, as Ms. Deveroux was getting ready for her appointment with Donna, she realized she had forgotten to call Edith the night before, and had subsequently missed their morning mall walk. She hoped to call her after her appointment with Donna, and perhaps take a walk in the early afternoon. When she left for her appointment Chumly was sleeping happily on her bed. He had been in such a good mood the night before, and boy did he love chicken noodle soup. Ms. Deveroux felt certain that he was glad she was feeling better. She looked at her watch as she walked into the office and noticed it was 8:01AM.

Donna looked out from the examination room, and exclaimed, “Ms. Deverouox, it’s so good to see you. I was starting to get worried about you. This is the first time you’ve ever been late.”

Ms. Deveroux looked at the clock in the waiting room, and was shocked to see that the time was actually 8:41. “Oh my,” said Ms. Deveroux, “I had no idea it was that late. I thought it was eight o’clock. In fact, my alarm clock, and kitchen clock are also off by twenty minutes. I'm so sorry.”

"That's quite alright, Ms. Deveroux. I'm just happy to see you. You can come on back now," Donna said. And with that, Ms. Deveroux began her new day.

Chumly rolled over, scratched an itch, sat up, and looked out the window. "I wonder if she realizes what a cross-dimensional time shift is? Oh, well, she'll figure it out," and with that he laid back down, fell asleep, and dreamed about chicken noodle soup.

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